The story quotes Microsoft’s Brian McAndrews who apty points out:
“Google gets all the credit, and in fact, you might have just gone to Google to type in the U.R.L.,” Mr. McAndrews said, pointing out that people often search for companies’ names after seeing their ads elsewhere."
It isn’t just companies Mr. McAndrews.. Many people simply begin searching for the products and services they desire by typing that product or service into their address bar, appended with the globally dominant .com suffix. Some people became aware of this phenomenon and began registering generic descriptive URL’s to sell advertising related to those products and services – and today, many people make a pretty good living that way
To be fair.. it’s not just Google capitalizing on this take-over of U.R.L. intent traffic and "getting all the credit". Microsoft’s control of the Internet Explorer browser address bar takes over a lot of traffic that doesn’t rightly belong to them. Error searches from visitors who mistype .xom or .cpm instead of .com .. or .nert instead of .net, .dr rather than .de, .couk rather than .co.uk .. the list goes on and on. – Long finger nailed and fat fingered people like you, me and our wives are destined for other active websites, but Microsoft’s browser acts like a pachinko machine steering us into their "live" or "msn" web properties and links.. giving them an opportunity to bleed away visitors en masse and showing us "their content" like a park flasher.. but getting paid by upstream advertisers for our eyeballs.
The "legitimate web" such as MSFT, GOOG get much of their traffic-fuel in the same manner as domain name registrants, who are often unfairly maligned as unseemly or overly simplistic. The wizard behind the curtain is just like you and I it seems.